A wild turn of events Thursday morning has impacted Florida State athletics director search.
Penn State president Dr. Eric Barron, who had been at FSU from 2010-14, announced he was retiring. Louisville’s president, Neeli Bendapudi, left the school to take the job at Penn State.
Bendapudi’s decision prompted Vince Tyra to re-think his options and he reportedly will not come to FSU, according to media reports in Louisville.
Where does FSU’s search go from here? It’s tough to tell right now and there is no clarity from FSU administration as of lunchtime on Thursday. The Osceola staff will continue to update this story as it develops.
Wednesday night story
Florida State’s search for an athletics director centered on Vince Tyra and the last hurdle to make the hire was surpassed on Wednesday afternoon. Tyra is expected to be officially hired in the coming days, a source told the Osceola.
Louisville’s athletics board approved amendments to Tyra’s contract, removing his non-compete clause — which was blocking him from going to another ACC school — and the 30-day clause to notify termination of employment, according to reports by writers in Louisville.
A spokesperson at Louisville did not respond to a question as to whether Tyra had resigned. There’s no timeline for when Tyra will be introduced by FSU.
Tyra has close ties to Kentucky, where he played baseball, as well as Louisville, where he has been AD since 2018. But after a few days of meetings in Louisville, including one on Tuesday with no decision, Tyra’s path to take another job at FSU has now opened up.
He would be FSU’s 17th athletic director. Tyra will replace David Coburn, who has been FSU’s athletics director since Aug. 2018 and was expected to remain in his role into the 2022 spring semester. It’s also not known when Tyra may arrive and how much Coburn would help in a transition role.
The 56-year-old Tyra (pronounced Ty-Ray) had a background in business and specifically private equity with Southgate Capital. According to his bio on the UL Athletic site, Tyra served as chairman of the board of numerous of those investments including Hallcon Corp, RCR International, Total Fleet Solutions, Dealer Financial Services, and BioPharm Communications. Tyra most recently served as chairman of the board and interim Chief Executive Officer of Elite Medical, a company based in Clearwater, Fla.
Tyra has hired Chris Mack (from Xavier) to be the men’s basketball coach as well as Scott Satterfield (from Appalachian State) to coach football. He has put an emphasis on fund-raising, and the athletics programs have been ranked among the top 35 in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.
He earned $850,000 annually at Louisville but multiple reports indicated he took pay cuts during the pandemic — similar to FSU’s David Coburn and coaches like Mike Norvell, Leonard Hamilton and Sue Semrau. One report indicated Tyra took a salary reduction twice and passed up bonuses while also donating money toward a business leadership program and land for a tailgate area.
Coburn earns $585,000 annually, not counting incentives, on a contract that runs through June 30, 2022. He accepted a 20 percent pay cut in 2020.